Telling the truth about SME life today

Jo Sellwood Taylor and Sharon Mullen: Understanding what is important


Jo Sellwood Taylor

Role and company:?

Co-founding director at Mullwood Partnership

Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):?

We re a new start-up business that has been going since May 2012 and we haven?t finished our first financial year yet, however it is very successful to date and we would look to grow 50 per cent year on year.

Employee numbers:?


Growth forecast for the next three years:?

50 per cent year on year.

In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:

We have a rich understanding of what is important. What makes us different is the specific areas we focus on, as well as our research. We are constantly quoted by clients for our admired and extensive connections, strategic focus and quality of our searches, together with an ego free, straightforward and honest approach.

What’s the big vision for your business?

To be globally reputed. Our vision is to be seen as a global search provider in board level executive and non-executive search services and as industry leaders in our research work.

Current level of international business, and future aspirations:?

We currently operate on a global basis and want to continue that way. A great deal of our business comes from companies and individuals that are in other countries. For us, the aim is to grow this over the next two years.

Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:

For me, it was becoming a managing director very quickly; I was an MD at 30. At the time it felt like a real baptism of fire but now I can appreciate that it has given me a different level of experience that I wouldn?t have received in any other role.

What makes you mad in business today?

Two words: traditional thinking.

What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?

I think there is going to be great change within the market that we currently work in. In the next couple of years we ll see more women on boards and from the research we have just completed the backgrounds, traits, types of CEOs required to run 21st century organisations have evolved significantly and drive an new era.

Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow” If not, what can be done to improve things?

The risk with finance in our industry is there are no products as such. Therefore, businesses can’t always access the finance that they need to grow but it’s up to them to produce a strong business plan and clearly show how they will be able to sustain themselves.

How would others describe your leadership style

Inspirational, passionate, strategic, visionary and very aware of what the next thing is in business.

Your biggest personal extravagance


You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:

There needs to be better support and mentoring for entrepreneurial businesses. Currently, there is already business support in place but there is nothing really inspirational at the moment to invigorate and support these businesses.


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